Sharon Kay Penman

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Sharon Kay Penman

Goodreads Author


in New York, The United States



member since
July 2009

About this author

Penman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she majored in history, and also received a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law, and later worked as a tax lawyer. Penman suffered from an eighteen month bout with mononucleosis.

The Sunne in Splendour, a novel about Richard III of England is one of the most popular books on the Historical Novel Society's list of best historical novels. In 1996, following the success of When Christ and His Saints Slept (which dealt with the Anarchy and the early career of King Henry II of England), Penman ventured into the historical whodunnit with four mysteries set in the court of Eleanor of Aquitaine during the reign of Richard I. The mysteries did n...more

August 25th was –like the 24th—a date upon which a great tragedy occurred and several important medieval people died.
The catastrophe occurred in 79 AD when Mt Vesuvius erupted, destroying the beautiful port cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The eruption began on the 24th, and in the early hours of the 25th, Pompeii’s fate was sealed by a pyroclastic surge of hot poisoned gases and pulverized... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on August 25, 2014 07:00 • 82 views
Average rating: 4.23 · 67,288 ratings · 4,824 reviews · 17 distinct works · Similar authors
The Sunne in Splendour
4.39 of 5 stars 4.39 avg rating — 12,587 ratings — published 1982 — 4 editions
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Here be Dragons (Welsh Prin...
4.31 of 5 stars 4.31 avg rating — 12,442 ratings — published 1985 — 16 editions
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When Christ and His Saints ...
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 7,979 ratings — published 1994 — 13 editions
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Falls the Shadow  (Welsh Pr...
4.36 of 5 stars 4.36 avg rating — 5,195 ratings — published 1988 — 11 editions
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The Reckoning  (Welsh Princ...
4.43 of 5 stars 4.43 avg rating — 4,880 ratings — published 1991 — 11 editions
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Time and Chance (Henry II &...
4.27 of 5 stars 4.27 avg rating — 4,488 ratings — published 2002 — 11 editions
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Devil's Brood  (Henry II & ...
4.34 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 3,808 ratings — published 2008 — 13 editions
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The Queen's Man
3.85 of 5 stars 3.85 avg rating — 3,741 ratings — published 1996 — 15 editions
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4.04 of 5 stars 4.04 avg rating — 3,006 ratings — published 2011 — 14 editions
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Cruel as the Grave
3.84 of 5 stars 3.84 avg rating — 1,944 ratings — published 1998 — 10 editions
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More books by Sharon Kay Penman…
Here be Dragons Falls the Shadow The Reckoning
Welsh Princes (3 books)
4.344780097734341 of 5 stars 4.34 avg rating — 22,510 ratings

When Christ and His Saints ... Time and Chance Devil's Brood Lionheart A King's Ransom
Plantagenets (5 books)
4.249987437817195 of 5 stars 4.25 avg rating — 19,901 ratings

When Christ and His Saints ... Time and Chance Devil's Brood
Henry II & Eleanor of Aquitaine (3 books)
4.283642620130269 of 5 stars 4.28 avg rating — 16,274 ratings

The Queen's Man Cruel as the Grave Dragon's Lair Prince of Darkness
Justin de Quincy (4 books)
3.8847904191616767 of 5 stars 3.88 avg rating — 8,350 ratings

Lionheart A King's Ransom
Richard the Lionheart (2 books)
4.0989798731734215 of 5 stars 4.10 avg rating — 3,627 ratings

More series by Sharon Kay Penman…

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"I would imagine she'd have welcomed it, Isis, though of course we can not say for sure. She may have resented Tudor for claiming the crown that she so...more "
Sharon Kay Penman wrote a new blog post
August 25th was –like the 24th—a date upon which a great tragedy occurred and several important medieval people died.
The catastrophe occurred in 7... Read more of this blog post »
"I think he would, too, Therese "
Sharon Penman made a comment on Game of Thrones
"Thanks, Isis. Is your dad a Game of Thrones fan, too? "
"Elaine, I've always been fascinated by the bonds that men who fight together form. It was true for Simon de Montfort and the men who would not abandon...more "
"That is good to hear, Marita. I should warn you that it has a sad ending, but then, my books usually do. "
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Sharon Penman voted for Death of Kings as Best Historical Fiction in the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards.
Death of Kings by Bernard Cornwell
More of Sharon's books…
“I inhale hope with every breath I take.”
Sharon Kay Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept
tags: hope

“We tend to forget at times that it is the little ones, the children, who do suffer the greatest hurt. If we cannot comprehend why certain sorrows are visited upon us, how on earth can they?”
Sharon Kay Penman, The Sunne in Splendour

“...A scar signifies past pain, a wound that did not heal as it ought. But it testifies, too, to survival...(Here be Dragons)”
Sharon Kay Penman


Aug. 15-Oct. 15 Group HF Series: Tie Breaker Poll

Welsh Princes Series: Here be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman- 3 books
  103 votes, 61.7%

Boudica Series: Dreaming the Eagle by Manda Scott- 4 books
  64 votes, 38.3%


Topics Mentioning This Author

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European Royalty: Jun 1 - Jul 1: When Christ and His Saints Slept 15 49 Jun 18, 2009 03:10AM  
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The Next Best Boo...: OFFICIAL SUMMER CHALLENGE 2009 6756 10527 Aug 31, 2009 10:23PM  
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European Royalty: Historical Fictions Recs - 14th Century? 14 155 Nov 01, 2009 07:56AM  
Chicks On Lit: Historical Fiction 57 215 Dec 12, 2009 11:11AM  
The Next Best Boo...: Tani's Goals for 2009 24 266 Jan 01, 2010 03:05PM  
European Royalty: Favorites 19 110 Jan 13, 2010 03:39AM  
25823 A History of Royals — 821 members — last activity Jul 22, 2014 10:16PM
A place to talk about all royals from every corner of the world and from all moments in history, fiction or non-fiction; real or imaginary. Discuss ev...more
21077 All Things Medieval — 422 members — last activity Aug 20, 2014 05:36PM
where people can talk about anything and everything Medieval from known historical figures to life and times of the period to favorite authors of the...more
12605 Richard III — 436 members — last activity Aug 25, 2014 05:24AM
A group for those goodreads members and Ricardians (or not!) who would like to discuss all things Richard III.
25x33 Q&A with Sharon Kay — 53 members — last activity Oct 14, 2009 08:57AM
Hi, everyone. I have just joined Goodreads, which is a way cool website, as my nephew would say. I wanted to spread the word that Devil's Brood,the fi...more
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Welcome to Historical Fictionistas! We want to experience all different kinds of HF with all different kinds of people. The more diverse, the better....more
13170 The Plantagenets — 311 members — last activity Apr 13, 2014 03:46PM
This is a group for those who enjoy reading nonfiction and fiction about one of England's most fascinating dynasties. Discuss the Plantagenet kings, t...more
2196 European Royalty — 1489 members — last activity Aug 20, 2014 05:03AM
This is a group for anyone who enjoys fiction and non-fiction books about European royalty and history in general. We have a wide variety of discussio...more
25350 THE JAMES MASON COMMUNITY BOOK CLUB — 7145 members — last activity 12 hours, 58 min ago
ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!-(300 PLUS DISCUSSION TOPICS)fr...more
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Comments (showing 1-8)    post a comment »
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message 8: by Anita

Anita Elder Sharon,
I've wanted to see a movie version of The Sunne in Splendour for a very long time! Here's my suggestions for the cast:
Edward IV - Chris Hemsworth
Richard III - Dominic Cooper
Elizabeth Woodville - Lena Headey
Warwick - Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Cecily Neville - Helen Mirren
Margaret of Anjou - Fanny Ardant

message 7: by Anita

Anita Elder Hi Sharon. We've exchanged email several times in the past. Looking forward to reading you newest book (after I finish The Sunne in Splendour for the third all-time favorite book!).

Sharon Penman Kimberly wrote: "Thank you for adding me Sharon!"

HI, Kimberly. I spend more time on Facebook because I have never figured out how to navigate Goodreads. So if you're on Facebook, too, do friend me. Sharon

Sharon Penman Brenna wrote: "Sharon, I just finished Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran. Bloody Brillant!! Thank you for the recommendation!"

I'm glad you liked it, Brenna. It grabbed me from that first amazing birth scene. Sharon

Brenna Sharon, I just finished Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran. Bloody Brillant!! Thank you for the recommendation!

message 3: by Isis (last edited Aug 13, 2011 01:03PM)

Isis Happy Birthday, Sharon! Hope you've been having a good one.

(It's Beth, by the way, I've been tinkering with my profile today.)

Sara W Thank you so much for the friend request! I absolutely LOVE your books (as does everyone else in the European Royalty group)!

Rosemary Sharon, thanks so much for contacting me. We share UT Austin as well as a love of historical fiction. Your books sound wonderful!

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